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Further Tests Proved ‘Graphene’ Still the Strongest Material in the World despite Defects

By Julie S | Jun 03, 2013 08:57 AM EDT

Research Proved ‘Graphene’ Still the Strongest Material in the World despite Defects
Andre Geim, one of the British scientists studying graphene. (Photo : Reuters)

New research revealed that graphene is the strongest material in the world, despite presence of defects.

Preferably made straight from several minute crystalline grains to create the perfect output, researchers found out that graphene is still as sturdy as the original form even when just stitched together. This new investigation challenges the old theory that projected the stitched material to be of weaker form than that of the pure mesh of crystalline grains.

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Graphene is said to be so strong that it would take an elephant to break a sheet with a width of Saran Wrap.  Graphene has been very appealing to the market and has a lot of potential to become the new ground-breaking material. Other remarkable traits of the material include one-of-kind optical characteristics,   the capability to convert single light photons into multiple electrons, and being able to absorb huge light spectrums.

In essence, graphene is simply carbons in atomic layers, which look like honeycombs under the microscope.  James Hone, a mechanical engineering professor from Columbia Engineering, conducted a study with Jefrrey Kysar, another mechanical engineer. In their first Science report in 2008, they concluded that graphene can only achieve its full potential when it has no imperfections. However, a perfect form is rare. Larger sheets essential for applications need to have several small grains at the boundaries, and it was still not clear how strong the grains were in the boundary area.  In their second paper, they were pleased to report that graphene is even stronger now brought about by using chemical vapor deposition or CVD.

The recent studies revised the findings, and the flawed belief that the imperfections in graphene are the reason for the diminished strength. The actual reason for the compromised strength is the method used in CVD-grown graphene's post processes. Columbia Engineering team of researchers was able to amend the flaw by creating a new process that inhibits damage to the graphene when transferring.

Scientists had been studying graphene as it can potentially be used to make advances on high-speed internet and optical communications. 

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